Kenny Gaines, who had knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions, couldn’t make it three in a row for the Dawgs, which would have tied the game at 56 apiece with less than 10 seconds remaining. Instead, Gaines’s attempt fell short, and so did Georgia’s comeback, giving Florida the 58-54 road win in Athens, along with a season sweep of Coach Mark Fox’s team.
At this point, any discussions of UGA (14-10) earning an at-large bid to this year’s NCAA Tournament are pure fantasy as Georgia is now a dismal 3-10 against the RPI Top 100.
Neither team shot the ball well tonight, but the difference was that Florida made a much higher percentage of its attempts in the second half. Even though the Dawgs took a 25-19 advantage into the intermission, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy as Florida was just 1 of 17 from beyond the arc in the game’s first twenty minutes; surely, at some point, the Gators would find their range, which they did following the break, knocking down 50% of their shots from both the field and three-point land.
UGA, however, hit just 32% from the floor on the night, making exactly 10 of 31 attempts in each half. The Dawgs’ offense hit a wall during the game’s final 7 minutes, just after UGA had taken a 44-41 lead following a nice finish by Yante Maten on the break. Georgia would score only one field goal over the next 6 minutes, which is why Coach Fox’s team found themselves in the predicament that they were in, trailing Florida 52-47 with less than a minute left.
The Gators, who pressured UGA relentlessly when the two teams met in Gainesville earlier this year, seemed content to play a half court game, which obviously worked in Georgia’s favor. Without having to face the ragged Gator press, the Dawgs managed to turn the ball over just 10 times on the night.
Florida was led offensively by KeVaughn Allen, who scored a game-high 19 points, including 4 three-pointers – 3 of which came in the second half.
Kenny Gaines, Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier scored 12, 11 and 10 points for UGA, respectively; though, none of them had much success in the shooting department. Gaines was 4 for 11, Frazier 4 for 10, and Maten hit only 4 of his 17 attempts.
The Dawgs are 1-7 this season against the RPI Top 50 for a reason: they don’t have enough players to to compete with high-level teams for 40 minutes. Georgia has two outside shooting threats and one legitimate post player, which is just not enough to be successful against strong competition. If one of those guys gets in foul trouble or is having an off night, UGA is essentially playing 4 on 5 when it has the ball.
Anyone know what the NIT bubble is looking like these days?